Families facing media: investigating moral economies and generational belongings.

Aroldi, P., & Vittadini, N. (2011). Families facing media: investigating moral economies and generational belongings.. Zagreb conference: "New challenges and methodological innovations in European media audience research". 7-9 April 2011.

Abstract: Domestication of digital technologies made by the families in their everyday environments (more specifically, the households as the interface between inner family life and relations, and their social, cultural and economic contexts) seems to be a key process in transforming audiences, both on the level of social practices and rituals of media usage and consumption, and on the level of self-consciousness and reflexivity involved in these everyday behaviours. In this frame, parental mediation attitudes -and discourses- represent a very interesting point of view, revealing how media is conceived and embedded in family life and, at the same time, the (more or less problematic) role they play in parents-children relations. Two main variables seem to be relevant in this process: the “moral economies of the households” (Silverstone, 1994 and 2005), with their set of social, cultural and economic capitals and their symbolic and moral attitudes towards values, on the one hand; and, on the other hand, the generational belonging of both parents and children, as a sort of a shared identity, strongly affected by the media experienced in the different stages of their life courses (Corsten, 1999; Edmunds & Turner, 2002 and 2005). Through a methodological point of view, questions addressed in the paper are about how to operationalize these concepts (“moral economies of the households” and “generational belonging”) and what kinds of quali-quantitative tools could be used in investigating them to better understand different strategies of domestication and parental mediation. Methodological questions will be presented starting from a set of researches on media and technology uses in the Italian households.